4 Steps To Practicing Forgiveness

By Jeremy

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Forgiving doesn’t come easy, especially when you’ve experienced the gut-wrenching pain of betrayal. It’s especially difficult when the offender shows no remorse or willingness to change. In order to benefit from the healing power of forgiveness, you have to shift your perspective. Forgiveness doesn’t release the offender. Forgiveness releases you from its grip of destruction.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”

The neuroscience of forgiveness reveals that those who don’t forgive will experience deteriorating effects on the body, mind, and soul. Holding onto unforgiveness creates a brain response, causing heart issues, digestive problems, inability to regulate emotions, joint pain, autoimmune diseases, and a myriad other physiological and psychological issues.

On the flip side, studies show powerful neurological and psychological benefits to forgiving. For example, data from one study shows the neurochemical, oxytocin (also known as the “love” hormone), interacting with the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for our fight or flee response. Oxytocin inhibits the amygdala from triggering the fight-or-flight response by interrupting a particular warning mechanism that causes a fear response. In other words, the love hormone, oxytocin can overpower the fear center of the brain. To forgive is to choose love like Christ. Simply forgiving inhibits fear and allows us to learn to trust again. Trust is the key in healing relationships.

Forgiveness also activates and heals areas of our brain responsible for empathy and clarity of thoughts. It improves our overall health, lowering blood pressure, enhancing our ability to regulate emotions, better heart health, and so much more.

Use these 4 steps to practice forgiving:

 

#1 Understand the offense.

Forgiveness does not mean that you excuse the sin. However, by accepting the betrayal was not your fault and understanding more about sexual addictions, you will help reframe your mindset. Watch the Conquer Series and Warpath on SoulRefiner.com to learn more about sexual addiction and a biblical and scientific approach to renewing the mind.

#2 Reframe the offense.

Let your own personal healing become your focus. There is a time and season for anger and grief, but make it a priority not to set up base camp there. Determine that you will nurse your wounds for a season as you move into healing. When you stay focused on your healing, you will spend less energy on feeling resentful and holding onto the pain.

#3 Be intentional. Forgiveness doesn’t “just” happen.

If you wait on a “feeling” to forgive you may be waiting for a lifetime. Feelings are faulty and fleeting. Forgiveness will take a disciplined response. Tell yourself daily you choose to forgive and find an opportunity to put it into practice.

#4 Pray!

Ask God daily to give you strength to forgive. He alone has the power to do the impossible, including giving you the fortitude to pray for your offender. Probably one of the hardest things to do in life, but a powerful action that will bring you closer to the heart of Christ and fortify your healing journey.

God commissioned us to forgive as a mechanism to protect and heal our mind. Who else to know the fine details of the brain than the Grand Architect, Himself? When you make a conscious decision to seek a path of forgiveness, you are ingesting the very elixir God designed to heal and repair your mind.

Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.


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